Open Studio: Inspired by #5WomenArtists

Resurrection of the Waitress

Every Saturday from 1-3 pm we open the studio to you and invite you to come make with us! Our Studio Coordinator Rachel comes up with a theme for each month related to artworks or big ideas in the museum and a creative prompt for each week with interesting art making materials for us to use to explore that prompt or theme. Not feeling inspired by our theme? No worries! We always have teaching artists available to bounce ideas off of and to help select supplies. A big part of art making is playing with new materials to see what they can do and revisiting old materials and using them in unexpected ways.

March is Women’s History month and we are celebrating in Open Studio by looking at five women artists who work in unique and experimental ways and inviting you to try out some of their favorite materials and methods. We will showcase a different type of material and artists each Saturday in March.

March 4 come explore the surreal and subversive and play with paint and collage materials. Honoré Sharrer collected images and used them to help build her paintings. What weird scenes and stories will we imagine together?

Deborah Butterfield and Louise Nevelson both use(d) found objects and assembled materials to create their sculptures. We are going to build and construct using recyclables, cardboard, and other unexpected objects on March 11.

Mickalene Thomas is known for her dramatic portraits of powerful women made of rhinestones, paint, and collage materials. Come portray the powerful women in your life on March 18.

When was the last time you took a selfie or a self-portrait? Did you add a filter? Did you add stickers or doodles? Did you share it? Jen Davis takes self-portrait photographs explore beauty, body image, loneliness, and connection. We will experiment with Instax cameras, film and slides, and our own phone cameras to make self-portraits on March 25.

We hope you discover a new material or artist that inspires you!

– Molly Uline-Olmstead, CMA Manager for Studio Initiatives

[Image: Resurrection of the Waitress by Honoré Sharrer, 1984, Collection of Adam Zagorin and the late Perez Zagorin]

Putting People First

Putting People First

This is the first of a series of posts that will explore how Columbus Museum of Art, through the lenses of creativity, experience, and relationships is pushing itself to be more inclusive, accessible, and welcoming to visitors, partners, artists, and community members of all abilities and backgrounds. Myself and fellow CMA staff, volunteers, and guest authors will explore topics like programming and tours for people with disabilities, representation in our collection, accessibility and people-first design in our building, and the value of community partners that help us to be better and more thoughtful about helping our visitors create those positive memories and shared experiences.

In a recent piece for DesignGroup’s website Michael Bongiorno, architect of CMA’s Walter Wing writes that an, “…institution is a place where human beings come together to form an emotional connection to a unique, inspiring environment where they can create positive memories through shared experiences.” I love this quote because it speaks so well to the potential of a museum to foster connections. Museums tread the line between their role as caretakers and stewards of artworks, artifacts, our material culture; and their role as a bridge between that material culture and visitors. Museums are an intersection where people foster conversations and connections.

CMA has been walking that line in an intentional and strategic way, building relationships and partnerships with organizations that share the value of putting people first. This means valuing the experiences, thinking, and perspectives of the artists in our collections and the people who visit us, work with us, and interact with us out in the community. When we opened the new wing we also underwent a rebranding. We saw that process as an opportunity to update the visual aspects of our brand and confirm the values that brand embodies – Creativity, Experience, and Relationships. These values underscore the importance of people to our institution and people-first thinking, design, and language in all of our work.

For example, when we talk about Experience as a brand value we are referring to the experience of everyone in the CMA ecosystem. This includes visitors, volunteers, staff, partners, visiting and collaborating artists, and the community at large. We aspire to be radically inclusive and warmly welcome everyone into the museum community and all it has to offer. We believe there is transformational power in active engagement with art and each other. We strive to cultivate an atmosphere that facilitates the opportunity to observe, think, and participate in all that we do. Most importantly, we extend that effort and unconditional regard to everyone.

-Molly Uline-Olmstead, Manager for Studio Initiatives